Monday, 27 June 2011

The 7 day circuit to Bulgaria - The afternoon of Day one (Veliko Tarnovo) - The 12th of June 2011

After Koprivtshitsa we headed towards Veliko Tarnovo, having stopped at Arbanassi's oldest temple, the Nativity Church, with St. John Baptist Chapel amazingly beautiful mural paintings (painted from 1597 to 1681), showing around 5,000 faces, which we  were fortunate enough to see, though understandably not allowed to photograph.

The Nativity church seen from the outside

Some of those images were embedded in our minds and as we continued our 9 kilometre drive to Veliko Tarnovo none of us dared speak ... (we were still visibly moved by the beauty of what we had just seen).

As we reached the main western entrance of the medieval stronghold of Tsarevets over the river banks of the Yantra river, which embodies the greatness of the medieval Bulgarian state, the weather changed and it started raining heavily, as we were walking along the bridge prior to having made it to one of its gates.

The bridge leading to the main gate

A map showing the Yantra river and the Tsarevets hill on the right.

After having seeked shelter for over ten minutes some of us managed to soon make it all the way up to the Royal Palace and the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Holy Ascencion of God. Veliko Tarnovo is "legitimately" said to be one of the oldest settlements in Bulgaria.

View of the city from the fortress (left). On the way up (right).

The Patriarchate ensemble

After having walked back to the main entrance, we were driven to a hotel located in a quiet part of the medieval city centre, which had a "charming touch" of its own.

View of the old city quarter (from the Hotel room)

We couldn't have had a better day ...  full of history, Art, Religion and bucolic landscapes that made us think about life ... the one we lead ... the one they once led ...

We are looking forward to what tomorrow might bring ... from what I have read, another day as equally "rich" as this one ...

No comments:

Post a Comment